Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Proclaim His Word with Authority

As the ekklesia, the governing body of the Lord in the earth, we are called to steward His Word here. He has already spoken His Word, and it's up to us--His body in the earth--to continue to speak it so it reverberates throughout the earth. God's Word doesn't die. It's still alive and powerful, and He is watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). When His people speak His Word with the authority He has granted to us, He sees it, and His power backs His spoken Word, to bring it to pass. When you proclaim His Word, He's watching over it, and He will do it.

The Bible also tells us,"This is the confidence which we have before Him that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us, and if we know that He hears us...we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14-15). We have to know that He hears us, and we will know that He hears us if we know that what we're asking for is His will. So when we ask for something, when we pray, when we make proclamations here in the earth, we need to know that what we're saying aligns with the Word of God, which is the will of God. His Word is His will.  And when we speak the Word of God, He's listening. We have His attention. The eyes of the Lord go back and forth across the earth and when someone speaks His Word from a confident heart, knowing that it's His will, He hears and He answers. He needs His Word to be spoken from someone with a believing heart in the earth, in order to back it with His power from heaven.

So when we pray for America, concerning the condition of our government, our schools, etc. we want to pray according to the Word of God, we want to be releasing the Word of God into the earth--proclaiming it with authority--and declaring what His Word says into the atmosphere. This is what it means to be the ekklesia, the church, the governing body. We release His Word into the earth, and as we do, He is watching over it to bring it to pass.

Any issues of concern in your life, in your family, you community, or country, pray, proclaim, speak, and believe according to the Word of God. Jesus said all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and then He said for us to go in His name. He's given us authority in the earth. (Matthew 28:18). If we take that authority, and believe, having faith in His Word, knowing that it is His will, then we will be able to pray and proclaim accordingly. But if we begin to doubt that this isn't His will, then we're not going to be able to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7).

He needs us to speak and release according to His Word, but he needs us to do so in faith, confidently knowing that this is His will. In order to do this we have to know His Word, so read the Bible. Start by praying and proclaiming the Psalms over the earth, your country, your state, and your community. Know what His Word says, so you can release it confidently, with authority, in the earth.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Discernment in the Spiritual Realm

Seeing into the spiritual realm is a gift from the Lord that His people can pursue and grow in. However, once you see into this realm, it's important to realize that not everything here is to be embraced. Just because something is spiritual, or supernatural, doesn't mean it should be accepted. It depends on the spirit it originates from. Ask yourself, is this from the Spirit of God, or another spirit?

The two trees in the Garden of Eden were the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Notice it was good and evil. Even though this second tree had a certain amount of knowledge of good, it was still contrary to the will of God for them to eat of that tree. He wanted them to partake of the tree of life instead. Something, or someone in the spiritual realm, may appear to be O.K. or even good, but is it God? All that glitters is not gold, and even Satan himself appears as an angel of light. There are counterfeits in the spirit that try and present themselves as "good" so you will accept them, giving power to them in the earth.

Not only is it important to discern where this thing you're seeing originates from, but the desire and pursuit of your heart is important as well. Is it your desire to encounter God and to hear from His heart, His Spirit; or are you so fascinated by the fact that you have an encounter with the spiritual realm that you don't really care, or think about, whether this thing is from God or not? Don't be so "wowed" by the spiritual realm that you accept something that is not from the Spirit of God. There is both good and evil there. This is the difference between the "second" and "third" heaven. The second heaven is used to refer to that realm where the devil and his cohorts hang out, and the third heaven is the heavenly realm where God is. Ask the Lord to give you discernment into the difference so you will not be impressed by the supernatural nature of things, and as a result deceived into selling out to something that is not from the Spirit of God.

We see a more common example of this when someone first begins to develop in spiritual discernment. They become aware of a spiritual influence in a situation, but stop short of responding according to the Holy Spirit themselves. For example, let's say you see a person who seems to be sincere in encouraging someone, but it becomes obvious to you that he is more interested in drawing attention to himself. You see this, and recognize the ungodly influence over him, but become critical of him in your heart, maybe even verbalizing that criticism to him, or someone else, rather than asking the Lord what you should do about it. If your discerning "revelation" about that person prompts you to respond in a way that is contrary to the Spirit of God, then something is off--either the origin of your discernment, or the attitude of your heart, or both.

To check out your heart-motivations, ask the questions:
  • Is my love and passion for the Lord at such a point where I will reject what is not from Him, even if it appears impressive?
  • Is my desire to be like the Lord, and to flow with Him by His Spirit only?
  • Is my desire to honor the Lord, worship and glorify Him, rather than draw attention to myself and my gift?
  • Is my desire to build His kingdom, not a ministry for myself?
  • Does what I am seeing align with His nature, which is His Spirit?
  • Does what I am seeing align with His Word?
We should all pursue spiritual gifts, and seek to grow in what the Lord has called us to, but we must stay sincere in our hearts so we stay in sync with His Holy Spirit. This is for God's glory, and our protection, so we are not led astray by seductive and flattering spirits.

Genesis 2:9, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 2 Corinthians 12:2, Ephesians 6:12, 1 Timothy 4:1

Saturday, May 20, 2017

America and the American Church

The United States is a Christian nation with separation of church and state, which means that the government doesn't dictate how the church is run. Churches have the right to operate free from governmental interference, and what that really means, is that the people have the freedom to live their lives in worship and obedience to God without the government passing laws that would oppose. In fact, the government is to protect the right of the people to live, work and speak as they believe.

The church is the ecclesia, or governing body of the Lord in the earth. The constitution was written to protect the church and the freedom of the people to worship freely. People are allowed to worship freely in their homes, their churches, and in the "public square" and business. These freedoms were given to the church at its founding. It was presumed that we would always remain a Christian nation.

So what do we do when an ideology which opposes both the church and the constitution, calls itself a religion and tries to claim the same freedom that the constitution provides to the church? Our government should recognize that these attempts are direct attacks on our freedom and oppose them. It should not open its arms to "religions" who oppose the constitution, such as Islam's Sharia law. Their goal is to remove and replace the church in America, not simply get in on the freedom of worship, and they will do that by force if it comes to the point where they feel they could.

As the ecclesia in America, the responsibility of the American church (or American Christians) is to prohibit anything that opposes this freedom from infiltrating or gaining a foothold in our land. Some of this is done spiritually in prayer and proclamation, yet as Americans who have both the right and responsibility to vote and hold our legislatures accountable, we are to take action through "non-spiritual" means as well.

In the Old Testament, we see that God's people got into trouble whenever they wouldn't tear down "the high places" or when they would allow those who worshiped false gods to remain in the land after He told them to go in and possess it. In the same way, if we allow those who oppose the Lord to promote their ways, and increase in both number and influence, then we are removing the protection and blessing that He has placed over us. Our own actions (or inaction) will be the very thing that becomes a snare and takes us down.

Compromise is not the answer. Political correctness is not the answer. This isn't even about immigration or refugees. It's about protecting the Judaeo Christian values that we were founded on, and not being so naive as to think that we are somehow immune from having enemies who hate us, just because we're "nice." Do we love our enemies as Jesus said? Absolutely, but we love God more, and work to build His kingdom, defend the faith, and the land He's entrusted to us.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A New Season of Seeds

It's Spring time! It's time to examine our soil and prepare for a new season of seeds! This is a spiritual season as well where we need to allow the Son to warm the soil of our hearts, so we can nurture the seeds He desires to grow within us. Both the written and spoken Word are destiny seeds planted within us that will cause us to be fruitful in everything the Lord has planned for us in His great garden! (Matthew 13:19).

The challenge is that the enemy will try and plants seeds within our heart as well. Seeds of resentment and a host of other related seed get thrown at our hearts through various ways. As a means of self-protection, the temptation might be to harden the ground of our hearts to keep the bad seed out. However, this keeps our soil in a frozen, winter state--a barren place where the good seed cannot grow either. Instead, we need to allow the sun to warm and soften our heart-soil, so we can nurture the fruitful seed of the Spirit within. (Galatians 5). So how do we protect our soil from bad seed?

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Once seed is planted, you don't dig it up. If you try and dig up the bad seed, you will dig up the good seed with it. It does no good to dig through the soil trying to separate good seed from bad seed. By the way, you don't want to dig up the good seed to try and examine it and see what kind of seed it is either. You need to nurture it, and let it grow or it will never bear fruit! You will see the fullness of what God has called you to as long as you nurture the seed, keep your soil soft, receive the sunlight and water necessary for growth!

You need to catch the bad seed before it even hits the soil or has a chance to penetrate! However, the enemy makes it very difficult at times, throwing seed at you from several directions, when he does, we don't want to harden our hearts. We want to continue to nurture the good seed, properly caring for our heart-soil, remaining on guard over it, so we recognize any seedlings of the enemy that might have gotten through as soon as they spring up. In this stage, they can be easily pulled out, root and all, as long as our soil is still soft. The softer our hearts, the surer we are that all the seedling is removed.

We must not neglect the guarding of our heart, because we don't want any bad seed to get the chance to develop a root system. If it does, it requires much more working of the ground to remove the root, which delays the growth of the good seed, and the fruitfulness that will come from it. Happy gardening!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Priestly & Prophetic Assignment of the Church in America

There are things that happen in the natural that reveal what is going on in the spiritual realm. Currently, President Trump is building up the U.S. military, which had been downsized over the last several years. There's a valid reason for strengthening the military. When the military of a "good" country is strong, evil is kept in check. If a bully is going to pick a fight, he won't normally choose the biggest kid on the playground to fight with. Strength is a deterrent. In the same way, when the power of God is known, it puts evil in its place.

Public display and acceptance of evil has been increasing rapidly in the United States, especially in the last 20+ years. This is the result of a decrease in the church's knowledge, release, and display of the power of God. In the 1940's and 1950's there was a great healing revival which displayed the power of God, resulting not only in healing, but salvation as well. (See link here). The Jesus Movement of the 1960's and 1970's, along with the Charismatic Movement, brought both "hippies" and many from denominational churches into a born-again, spirit-filled life. The power of God in the church accomplished much for the kingdom, and evil was kept down.

The Decline of Power
During the healing revival, and beyond, we had the Word of Faith Movement which, in spite of the good it did for the body of Christ, eventually led to many who were immature in the faith to distort the message, causing a pursuit of worldly goods, rather than building the kingdom of God. Eventually came the Hyper-Grace Movement, which, once again, takes a vitally important aspect of God and distorts it into a slap in the face of the Lord by not taking a stance against sin. While faith and grace are both important to salvation, healing, and all of the blessings of God, the enemy brought an influence into the church which distorted both. Many in the faith movement who had been "burned" by the message, turned against faith altogether and took the opinion that "whatever will be, will be." They felt their prayers were ineffective, and they turned away from speaking powerful words of faith or prophetic declarations.

The Rise of Idolatry
While this turmoil was going on, Islam and socialism were rising in the United States, and our kids began being indoctrinated in the public schools. As the power of God declined in the church, these weeds were planted, and we're seeing the result of their growth today. Of all the immigrants and refugees who have come to America, none have desired to change the core foundation of beliefs of the U.S. like Islam. Of course, many of these people are pawns of those who will use whatever means they can to take America down, yet, this too is a symptom of what is going on in the church. The church has committed adultery, worshiping idols in place of the one true God, causing a compromise of the Christian faith, and of course the power of God.

What do we do? We stay close to the heart of God, seek Him daily, and take our place as both priests and prophets in His kingdom.

In the days of Joshua, Israel entered the Promised Land after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Yet they didn't walk right in without a fight. There were many battles involved in possessing the land. The Lord told them at times to kill all the inhabitants.1 This sounds so cruel, yet it was necessary to keep the nation holy. (I'm not saying to kill anyone, I'm relating this to the spiritual battles of today!) When pulling out weeds that have infiltrated, we need to do a thorough job. This is what has been happening, and needs to continue, in the church. We are beginning to see its effect in the natural realm in our government. Keep praying!

The Priestly Assignment
There are two things we need to do to possess the land God has called us to. First involves a priestly assignment. As a priest, we can intercede and repent on behalf of the church. We can repent of having a form of godliness, but denying the power. We repent of not allowing the power of God to be fully displayed in and through us. Whether its because of fear, unbelief, or complacency, we repent and turn from it. We also repent because of our compromise and failure to surrender our heart completely to the Lord. Putting other things as a higher priority than Him. Being afraid of hurting people's feeling we turned to political correctness, trying to be "nice."

When we function as a priest, repenting on behalf of all, we are interceding. Jesus is the greatest example of an intercessor. He came to take our sin on Him so we could be forgiven and our relationship restored with the Father. He stood in the gap, taking our sin on Him. In the same way, we repent of all of the sins of the church, examining our own heart, but praying on behalf of all. Our prayers will benefit the entire church, and the country.

As we intercede, and repent, on behalf of the church for our foolishness and all of that, we truly turn around ourselves, and ask God for forgiveness. I believe this is why the election went the way it did--God's mercy in response to this kind of intercession. As we intercede, we are cutting the weeds off at the roots. We are pulling them out of the ground and removing them from our midst--as they did when they took possession of the Promised Land.

The Prophetic Assignment
After repentance comes the prophetic. As we prophesy the will and Word of God, by His Spirit, we are planting new seeds into those areas that were infiltrated by weeds. Our intercession removed them, but new, godly growth needs to occur. The barren land needs to be inhabited by the righteous so the enemy does not return even stronger. Those who hear, and believe, our prophetic words can run with this, cultivating the seed, and building the kingdom of God in their region.

After all of this, we must be diligent to maintain the land. Weeding the weeds (intercession), and planting the seeds (prophesying) are to be an ongoing part of maintaining the land. To do this, we must stay in the presence of God, in His Word, surrendering our hearts to Him always. Don't think your part is too small. When you cut off a weed root, it affects the entire plant. You're cutting off the "supply line" to an area, and many will be made free by your diligence to pray. However, don't forget to seek the Lord for the prophetic word, and plant the seeds in this area!

1 For example, Joshua 6:17-27, Joshua 11:10-12

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Story of Jack

This is the story of Jack. Jack was the youngest of four boys. He didn’t have an easy life growing up. His dad was an alcoholic and his parents divorced when he was three years old. Jack lived with his mom and brothers. They never had a lot of money, and his mother never seemed to stay at one job for very long. She was depressed often.

Jack’s older brother Zach constantly picked on him, making fun of him and sometimes beating him up. At first, Jack would hide from Zach, always afraid when he was home. But after a while Jack learned to fight back. The harder Jack fought, the more Zach left him alone. Pretty soon, Jack started fighting with anyone who disagreed with him at school. He was always in trouble and eventually dropped out of high school. He began drinking and using drugs, and turned to a life of crime to support himself and his habit. At age 16 he left home and took to the streets.

Inwardly, he longed for attention and acceptance, but he never let his guard down. If he softened just a little, someone would take advantage of him. When Jack was 37 years old, he was in prison for murder. He had been in jail before for drugs, theft, weapons, assault, and even rape, but this was his longest sentence so far.

One day, he was told he had a visitor. Surprised, because no one ever visited him, he went into the visiting room to see a smiling, old lady waiting for him. He stopped for a minute, wondering what she could possibly want from him. Curious, he went and sat down across from her. The woman was probably about 70 years old with white hair, deep eyes, and a smile that never stopped. Jack felt a warmth come over him, but pushed it aside. “Don’t be soft.” He told himself.

She introduced herself as Carol and said the Lord sent her to talk to him. Jack said he wasn’t interested and their conversation was very short. After she left, Jack couldn’t shake the warm feeling and wondered if he should have listened to her more.

Weeks passed and Carol visited again. This time Jack listened longer and enjoyed the warm feeling a little more. As time went on, Jack began to look forward to Carol’s visit, her smile, their Bible studies and the warm feeling when she prayed. One day, Jack gave his heart to the Lord. He was amazed that God could forgive him of the horrendous things he’d done. Carol assured him He did, and after a while, Jack believed it himself.

Jack loved God with all his heart, forever grateful for His love and forgiveness. One day, Jack had a new cellmate named Ron. Ron said he was a Christian and Jack was happy to have a Christian cellmate. Yet, he wondered about him. Ron said he didn’t do anything that bad, and couldn’t believe God let him get arrested. When Jack talked to Ron about God’s great forgiveness, Ron said he was happy for Jack, but he had lived a pretty good life and didn’t have much to be forgiven of.

Jack invited Ron to come see Carol with him, but Ron refused. Jack also noticed that Ron never read the Bible and didn’t seem all that interested in spending time in prayer.

One day, after Ron called Jack a Jesus freak, Jack laid on his bunk and opened his Bible. He loved the fact that he no longer wanted to beat someone up for disagreeing with him. He came to Luke 7 and read:

36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

Jack looked up from his Bible as he realized that he loved the Lord so much because he was forgiven of so much. Yet, Ron did not love the Lord very much. It wasn’t because he didn’t have much to be forgiven of, but because he didn’t see that he had a lot to be forgiven of. Ron was a sinner, just like Jack was, but Ron saw his sin as “not so bad.” “We all have a lot to be forgiven of,” Jack thought to himself. “Some people just don’t know it.” Jack took a moment to pray for Ron, that he would realize the depth of forgiveness available to him through Jesus Christ, and then he continued reading:

44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
Jack thanked God for his forgiveness and wept tears of gratitude.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Oak Tree Dream

I had a dream on June 6, 2013 which I have felt impressed to share here. Here it is:

I was with some people in a place outside somewhere. It was just beginning to get dark out and we were heading towards a body of water. We were going to investigate something that we'd heard others talk about. We came to the edge of the water and a huge monster type thing rose up out of it. Everyone ran, but I stood there for a minute wondering if I should take authority over it in the Name of Jesus. I felt that I should stand and fight. The monster seemed small at first as I contemplated this, but then as it rose up higher out of the water I could see that I was no match for it. Yet I still considered staying and fighting in the Name of Jesus, but then felt the Lord say I should not stay and fight. I needed to take cover. 

We ran into a hollowed out tree. It was a big tree, with enough room for all of us. Besides myself, there was four or five other family members with me. We all got inside and I was standing by the door. It was an actual door that was over the opening in the tree. I shut the door. There was a light on inside too. The monster was making a lot of noise outside, looking for us, and it came close to the tree. I was thinking once again about praying out loud, taking authority over him, but then considered that the noise would attract him. I knew that he was going to give off a deception which would affect anyone who was outside overnight. It didn't matter who it was, if they were outside they were going to be deceived by this monster. I just said 'Jesus' very quietly.  

A couple of my family members began to get noisy because they were afraid, and I looked at each one, making a "shh" very quiet sound with my finger over my lips. I looked at each one to make sure each one understood they had to be quiet. The thought went through my mind that it looked like I was trying to take charge, but I couldn't be concerned with that right now. It was vital that we all were quiet. 

Finally, the beast got quiet and people slowly started talking but I told them to shh. One of them said, "She can hear something." And it wasn't so much that I could hear something but I knew we needed to wait a bit. I felt a bit distracted by the others with me in the tree and at one point I felt that if I were too worried about trying to keep them quiet, I would lose my perspective/perception for what was going on outside the tree. I couldn't physically see what was going on outside. I was relying on my perception by the Spirit of God. I needed that perception to help keep us safe, so I couldn't get too distracted by them. 

At a certain point in time, I sensed it was starting to get light outside, so I shut off the light inside the tree and started to open the door. I didn't want the light inside the tree to call attention to us as I opened the door, but when I shut the light off, one person started making a lot of noise, he was scared--claustrophobic. I knew it was uncomfortable for him, but I also knew I had to keep going and slowly open the door. I knew he would see what I was doing and that it would be O.K. I couldn't take the time to stop an explain it to him, I just had to show him. 

We went outside and the monster was gone. It was just before dawn. It had spread its deception throughout the night to whoever was in the street. We ran up the street, aware that we could be a target for something else--from one of the deceived.

We entered a building. It was kind of dreary building, and more like a partially outdoor hallway. It appeared to be a central station of some sort--people were coming and going in all directions. There were a lot of people around who were dressed the same. They were all saying or singing something that sounded like words of praise and worship to the Lord. But I knew by the Spirit that some of these were fake Christians. They did not have the Spirit of God in them. I told everyone very seriously not to just follow anyone but to make sure they had the Spirit of God in them, and they would only know that by the Spirit. You could not tell outwardly. Once again, I thought it sounded like I was trying to take charge but the message was so important that I had to make sure they knew. I knew that anyone of them could perceive this for themselves, but because it was so important, I didn't want to assume that they had. 

Thoughts regarding the dream:

God prepared a safe place for us. We needed to get away, out of the influence of this spirit. This spirit influences and deceives the whole world. We needed to get out of its path and not try to fight against it. Arrogance would have had us try and fight against it and we would have been squashed. As it was, I felt that at any time we could have been squashed by this thing while inside the tree. I had to have faith and trust in the Lord. I could have been fearful for not being able to see outside the tree, and it was tempting to open the door, but I had to rely on faith in Him instead. It was important to wait and listen. To be quiet and listen. To not be anxious, or fearful, or arrogant, or get into disputes. The tree I believe represents righteousness--our righteousness in Jesus. 

Also, there were two or three generations in the tree. We must teach the next generation both wisdom and courage. If you have wisdom without courage you'll know what to do, but buckle under the pressure and become paralyzed with fear. On the other hand, if you have courage without wisdom, you'll be willing to die for your faith, but may end up dying needlessly when you should have stayed alive and continued your work here! Wisdom comes from listening to the Spirit of God.

It was important not to call attention to ourselves while we were in the tree, for this would attract the monster. Fear will cause you to cry out and when you do, you are calling attention to yourself. The same is true with disagreements. Also, the light in the tree, or our own light, opinion or illumination on things, will also call attention to ourselves. We need the light of the sun (Son) to see clearly, and to walk in the humility which will keep us safe. We need to wait for the dawn--enlightening from the Sun.

Once outside the tree, waiting to hear the Lord was important then too. We could not rush into following a certain group or forming relationships. We couldn't use reason to determine why we thought one group was better than another and follow them. We could not tell by outward appearance who was truly a Christian and who was fake. Everyone looked alike and sounded alike. We couldn't use comparisons etc. but instead we were to follow and wait on the Spirit--the true Holy Spirit.